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Learning Interchange
National Writing Institute

Sunday, July 21, 2024

Introduction: Essential questions can be used to focus the unit study. They remind students of the understanding they are trying to reach.

Essential Questions:

Have no obvious right answer.
Raise other important questions and often cross subject-area boundaries.
Address the philosophical or conceptual foundations of a discipline.
Recur naturally.
Are framed to provoke and sustain student interest.

Directions: Use the following template to write essential questions that focus on each of the six facets of understanding (Wiggins and McTighe)

Explanation: Sophisticated explanations and theories that proviae knowledgeable accounts of events; action, and ideas.
Interpretation: Interpretations, narratives; and franslations that proviae meaning.
Application: The ability to use knowledge effectively in new situations and diverse contexts.
Perspective: Critical and insightful viewpoints.
Empathy: The ability to identify with another person's feelings and woridview.
Self-knowledge: Wisdom to know one's ignorance and how one's patterns of thought and action inform as well as prejudice understanding.

QuestionsConceptMap.gif (5320 bytes)


Adapted from Understanding by Design Institute, Grant Wiggins and Jay McTigne

Copyright 1997-2003
Career Connection to Teaching with Technology
USDOE Technology Innovation Challenge Grant
Marshall Ransom, Project Manager
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